Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) come in various forms. There are about 20 kinds of STDs and they are caused by pathogens such as virus, bacteria and parasites. Some of the most commonly diagnosed STDs are HIV, Syphilis and Gonorrhoea.
Both men and women are susceptible to STDs, most especially if they engage in unprotected sex. Most of them can be cured when they are diagnosed early. This is why it pays to prioritise regular checks. Sexual health and STD tests are confidential. You simply need to schedule them with your physician or with an STD clinic in your city.
Some patients are embarrassed to undergo such tests because of the stigma of having a sexually transmitted infection. Don’t be! Regardless of your age, rest assured the clinic will keep the results strictly confidential. Only you will have access to them.
How does an STD test work?
To know which tests you need to undergo, you need to consult with your physician or nurse. They will ask you about your sexual activity so they can recommend the appropriate tests. You should also discuss any possible symptoms of STDs, your number of sexual partners, and use of intravenous drugs. Here are the various tests used to screen certain types of STDs:
- Cheek swab. The physician will rub the swab on the walls of your cheeks to check if you have HIV.
- Blood test. They will draw blood to screen for herpes, syphilis, and HIV.
- Urine test. This type of test is done to check if you have gonorrhoea or chlamydia.
- Physical examination. The doctor will check for sores, irritations, discharge, rashes and wounds.
- Sores check-up. Aside from identifying the presence of sores, your doctor will also have to test the sores. They will need to take fluid samples to diagnose if you have herpes.
- Discharge testing. Swabs will be rubbed in each of your orifices to check for other possible STDs.
Why get tested now
Early STD detection is paramount to saving you from further health complications. According to the 2015 statistics by FPA, the overall number of STD affected individuals in England dropped by 3.4% compared to the 2014 data. However, the number of male individuals infected with gonorrhoea and syphilis rose.
Regardless of the improved statistics, you should still consider investing in your sexual health, more importantly, have yourself checked if you suspect an infection or if you have an active sex life.
Most of the time, STDs are asymptomatic. In fact, FPA pointed out in their statistics that Chlamydia is the most widely common type of infection in the region. However, the majority of chlamydia-infected individuals do not know they have the disease, putting the sexual health of their partners at risk. As a responsible individual, undergoing an STD test will help you save others from contracting the same disease.
Make sure you prioritise your sexual health and STD testing. Get yourself screened as early as possible. If you suspect an infection, be sure to schedule an appointment with your local sexual health services provider.